Farmers following our program have noticed a marked improvement in clover growth in their pastures, they also note that lambs and fawns are coming off these pastures heavier.
Where trial paddocks are treated, the initial period the farmers are also noticing a preference by the animals to graze the pastures that have been fertilised over what they had been using in the past, which is another benefit.
Sustainable Soils will consult with you to help produce good health benefits from your soil. These include: more total and even spread of feed throughout the seasons, increased per animal production, lower animal ill-health costs, reduced reliance on fertiliser N inputs, and less pest and disease pressure.
I grew up on a dairy farm in South Auckland and went through the whole farming system, from farm worker to managing and share-milking until buying my own farm with my wife Rowena in South Otago.
Owning my own farm meant I developed an interest in soil and fertiliser and wanted to learn more about it for the health of my farm and animals. I was less than enthusiastic about using urea, sprays and chemical if I didn’t have to.
I was using a consultant who had this same philosophy to consult on my farm and I discovered the system of balancing minerals and using lime and other natural products that are kinder to your animals.
In 2009 we sold the farm and set up our consulting company "Sustainable Soils ltd" after I had completed a soils course run by Neil Kinsey.
I find people become more passionate with what they are doing on farm after we have consulted with them. We involve you the farmer, in the whole process. Some companies just sell you a product and don’t help you to understand why they do what they do.
What we do with the soil is almost a holistic approach and you learn where you are coming from and how animal health fits in. If your plants are not healthy, your animals are not healthy and it costs financially and environmentally. Farmers shouldn’t have to run off to the vet all the time. As humans if you have a healthy nutritious diet you don’t have to go to a doctor every day and it is the same on the farm..
You are not having to deal with sick animals and you tend to be more all grass fed and back to basics farming. If you improve the soil it is more porous and the topsoil and humus is more open and then there isn’t so much run off when it rains. The land soaks it up and slowly releases it and hangs onto it longer, you have earlier Springs and longer Autumns. It improves soil health and gives more variety in grasses and herbs as well.”
Deep tap root herbs break up the soil pan, as a deep root goes and cracks up the clay allowing trace minerals to come to the surface. We enjoy the job and helping farmers and seeing their smiles and happy faces with the end results.
I am passionate to see things progressing and am not there to just make a sale but to help them improve the health of their farm.
Some of our products are biogro approved and suitable for organics and are non-toxic with very low levels of cadmium. From an environmental point, they are non-water soluble so won’t leach into our waterways.
People are definitely looking toward the future of the land and protecting things for future generations with a natural style farming that’s environmentally friendly.